This blog will look at environmental and political issues that will affect the quality of life for future generations of all species. Including; sustainability, media labels of "environmental issues," and different kinds of resistance to environmental oppression. I will also post on anything I think someone interested in the aforementioned would be interested in...
Monday, January 7, 2008
New Years Revolutions that make a difference...
We head into 2008 with an unprecedented level of environmental awareness and an increasing public demand for action on major environmental issues (such as anthropocentric climate change.) Lets look at some major events in 2007 that inspired this growing trend.
As increasingly intense weather patterns continued battering coastline communities (like BC and Newfoundland), the environment arose as the number one voting issue for the majority of Canadians. This meant that the majority-elected democratic leaders began to take notice of the environment as a leading issue.
The most influential global environmental conference of our generation took place in Bali in December. After much public outcry, including an online petition attracting over 100,000 signatures in just 4 days, our Conservative government (representing Canada to the world and fearing the loss of ‘votes’) begrudgingly agreed to binding limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Symbolically favouring longterm environmental protection over short-term economic gains.
The US Supreme Court and a bipartisan investigative committee found the Bush administration GUILTY of illegally blocking information and action on human-caused climate change. Not many people were surprised by this ruling given the new wave of environmental awareness spreading rapidly. But not enough attention is being focused on the implications of what these rulings meen. If you like incredibly scary real-life horror scenarios (like in the movies), just look at some of the least-worst predictions that have been made by climate scientists (and until very recently, ignored)
The UN Inter-governmental panel on climate (IPCC) and Al Gore won the Nobel Peace prize for their role in creating awareness on how our capitalist global society’s way of living is killing the planet.
Also in 2007, a broad survey of 22,000 Canadian “intelligent, education, and connected” individuals found that 74% believe corporations have too much influence over governments, and 69% agreed large corporations are more powerful than the governments themselves. More and more concerned citizen’s are seeing corporate power (and binding trade agreements) as the root causes for many globally inter-connected environmental problems.
This exponentially increasing environmental awareness is being spread by a growing independent media and technological innovlations in social networking (like facebook or the internet in general).
On our own campus, students and faculty began networking and organizing to create a new transdisciplinary environmental studies degree (tentatively set to come out in 2009). Our university is also hosting a student’s for sustainability world conference and a United Nations Education for Sustainable Development Regional Center for Expertise symposium (both in May 2008).
Not surprisingly, the environment was on the minds of the majority of Canadians when making their new years resolutions as well. According to one national poll, the top new year’s resolution of 2008 is to be more environmentally conscious when shopping and making resource-usage decisions. Specifically, people seem to believe that ‘direct personal action can make a difference in protecting the planet for future generations.’
So as you head into 2008, fellow students, citizens, and passengers on spaceship earth… Consider the ecological consequences of the way you live. It’s no longer about looking your grandchildren in the eyes as you tell them what a rainforest used to look like. It’s about how you will apply your privileged agency and preparing our families and communities to survive the upcoming apex of an unsustainable society’s revolutionary transition, or apocalyptic demise.